The JD (U), on Sunday, reacted cautiously to the elevation of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to the central parliamentary board of the BJP, its NDA ally and ruling coalition partner in Bihar.
“It is an internal matter of the BJP at the national level," JD (U) Bihar unit spokesman Niraj Kumar told reporters, soon after the appointment of Modi was announced.
The reaction of the JD (U) is important considering the party leadership has on several occasions indicated that it would prefer a ‘secular’ leader to head the NDA when it goes into the next Lok Sabha poll.
Asked whether Modi's elevation was an indicator of his projection as the NDA’s prime ministerial candidate, Kumar said, "The JD(U) leadership's stand in this regard has been known to one and all. We believe that a prime ministerial candidate should have secular credentials to take along diverse group of people of the country."
The JD (U) spokesman said that the 'Bihar Model' of development was the only guiding mantra on which the country could move forward by representing the aspirations of all sections of society.
On the other hand, Bihar animal husbandry and fisheries minister Giriraj Singh of the BJP congratulated Modi for his elevation in the party hierarchy.
"Now, that the BJP has taken the first step in the direction of projecting Modi as its prime ministerial candidate, the preparations for the general elections will begin in full swing," Singh told reporters.
Asked whether Modi's steady rise in the BJP hierarchy might mar the party’s ties with the JD (U), he said it would have no impact on the alliance between the two parties.
“In any case, it is not a business of any party to meddle in the affairs of another party, even if it is an ally", Singh said.